Court overturns Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence

Court overturns Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence

Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in 2015 for his part in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which took the lives of at least three people and seriously injured hundreds more.

The U.S. Appeals Court has vacated the death sentence for convicted Boston Maraton bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, writing in a ruling Friday and citing a judge's error.

"But make no mistake", the judges wrote in the ruling.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two Boston Marathon bombers, is no longer on death row.

Tsarnaev's lawyers argued the case should not have been tried in Boston, where potential jurors were exposed to heart-wrenching, wall-to-wall media coverage about the attacks and the victims, many of whom lost limbs.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev fled the shootout and was captured a day later, after being found hiding in a boat in the backyard of a house in Watertown - a suburb of Boston.

The 224-page ruling ordered a "new trial strictly limited to what penalty Dzhokhar should get on the death-eligible counts".


A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said his office is reviewing the decision and will have more to say "in the coming days and weeks". They also pointed to social media posts from two jurors suggesting they harbored strong opinions even before the 2015 trial started. Two of Tsarnaev's appellate lawyers didn't immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

Tsarnaev is being held in federal prison in Colorado. The appeals judges, in a hearing on the case in early December, devoted a significant number of questions to the juror bias argument.

One post after Tsarnaev's capture called him a 'piece of garbage'.

"By not having the jurors identify what it was they already thought they knew about the case, the judge made it too hard for himself and the parties to determine both the nature of any taint (e.g., whether the juror knew something prejudicial not to be conceded at trial) and the possible remedies for the taint", the judges wrote.

Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.

"I see in Boston, where you have the animal that killed so many people during the Boston Marathon", Trump said.

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